Nuclear medicine refers to medications that are attached to a radioactive material. This medication is called a radiopharmaceutical. These radiopharmaceuticals are used to study various parts of the body and treat some conditions and diseases.
Nuclear medicine procedures are among the safest diagnostic imaging exams available. The patient only receives a very small amount of the radiopharmaceutical-just enough to see what is happening with the targeted body part.
The radiopharmaceutical is administered either orally or by injection. It is designed to target a specific part of the body where there might be some abnormality or disease. The radioactive part of the drug emits gamma rays which are detected using a gamma camera. The doctor can then see what is happening inside the body.
PMH uses nuclear medicine to evaluate the gallbladder, liver, thyroid, and bones, and also during both exercise and medication-induced stress tests. Nuclear medicine can, for example, be used to identify lesions deep inside the body without having to perform surgery on the patient.
A nuclear medicine scan can take as little as two hours, but some scans require that you leave and come back later that day, or even on consecutive days. Some exams require you to fast ahead of time, or take, or cease taking certain medications, while others do not. You will receive specific instructions at the time your exam is scheduled.
For more information call 574-946-2136.
The day of your appointment
- Please arrive 20 minutes prior to your scheduled time so that you may complete the registration process.
- Once the registration process is complete, you will be directed to the Diagnostic Imaging Department and a registered technologist will bring you to the procedure room. The technologist will explain the process to you and then you will be asked to sign a written consent prior to the exam.
- You will wear your own clothing during the scan; however, wear something without metal clasps or zippers, as they will interfere with the study. Do not wear jewelry or other accessories.
- You will be helped onto an exam table. The gamma camera may rotate around you, or you may be asked to shift position.
Unless your physician tells you otherwise, you may resume your normal activities after your nuclear medicine scan. The results of your procedure will be forwarded to your referring healthcare provider who will then discuss them with you.